So, I’m on a little social media break. Well, I say that but it’s not really a break. I mean, kind of. What I mean by “break” is that I’m not really interacting on my personal page right now, except for this past weekend to communicate with all of the lovely yogis who came to my class at the park and tell them where they can find Yoga for Humans. So I’ve been on it a bit. And let’s be honest, Yoga for Humans is, right now, primarily social media driven, and I haven’t been able to let a day go by without posting or working on it. Ho hum.
It’s the Yoga for Humans that has driven me into social media overexposure. I was using social media quite a lot beforehand, but this has given me the extra kick in the pants to blow my occasional habit into a full blown addiction. And I hate it. Quite honestly, social media has always been uncomfortable for me – because I strive to be authentic and who I am regardless of who I’m around, what media I’m using, or anything else. And not everyone gets my weird sense of humor. (Like this video I made when I was in grad school… I thought this was the funniest thing ever. Not everyone agreed.)
And if I’m being honest with myself, I really really really like to be liked. I mean, who doesn’t? I care what other people think. This has done very good things for me – like helped me get jobs and do good things in my career, because I analyze what other people want so often – and then it has done bad things, like stall my progress in my career while I debate how to best please others (instead of just doing what I feel to be right).
If you haven’t known already what a buzz word “authenticity” is, then I’m not sure what planet you live on – because it’s everywhere. Particularly in our media-centered culture, people seek out authenticity online – because there’s so much perfecting and skimming over the bad shit. One of the reasons I, and many others, love Rachel Brathen is that she is absolutely, incredibly authentic. She is who she is, and sometimes I find her inspiring, other times trivial, and sometimes I just feel like she’s my friend. She isn’t afraid to put it all out there, say FUCK YOU to people she doesn’t like, all while maintaining a message of yoga. She’s not perfect. She’s human. And it’s so refreshing.
But one of the things about Rachel as well is that people get notoriously pissed off at her. They say such mean things. And we all know that the negativity rings much more loudly than the positive. So kudos to Rachel for keeping it real – because it keeps me coming back.
Thursday evening I was out at a baseball game with my husband and bonus child, and I kept getting this pop-ups on my phone. Some guy was commenting on all of these youtube videos I created over a year ago. He was saying mean things, like “you don’t know anything about yoga.” “No, Madam, this is not helpful.” I created those videos for people who I knew who were struggling with yoga, and he went through at least three of my videos to tear me apart. So I deleted the youtube app off my phone.
Now I know what you’re going to say. He’s a nobody, he feels powerless so he gets his power through the anonymity of social media, he’s just downright mean. And I agree with those things. But man, no matter what, it still hurts. I had someone that I really like and respect unfriend me about five weeks ago after I posted this blog, in which I tried my darndest to say “I don’t agree with x, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like you as a human.”
And there’s only a certain extent of authenticity I can handle. Because it makes me want to punch people and then cry. Because you’re mean. Or you misinterpreted what I said. Or because I actually don’t know anything and you found me out but my teacher told me to do shit before I was ready so I’m doing it, and now I’m getting ripped apart.
So I’ve dropped off the social media planet for a bit.
Anyway, I tell you all this because… Because people can be mean. And because almost a year ago I wrote this post that said I knew how uncomfortable this was and I knew how important it was for me to keep going anyway but… Breaks are okay too.
Sometimes you need a restorative yoga class. Where it’s just nice. And lovely. And there’s no work and there’s no effort and you just receive. Where it’s not at all like real life. Where it looks like self care and rejuvenation and no longer giving a shit.
So. This week, give yourself permission to do that. To say, “fuck it, yes, yoga is about teaching you to be uncomfortable and staying with the discomfort BUT SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK.” Take a restorative yoga class. Take an hour to read a book. Or join me in taking a week’s vacation from social media.
Your body, your mind, your spirit, will thank you.